The aim of this study was to define a new index to measure lateral patellar displacement (LPD) using nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an axial index of engagement of the patella (AEI) obtained from two different axial MRI views then to validate its use in a prospective series of patients presenting an objective patellar instability (OPI).
Materials and methods
One huundred and thirty-five patients with OPI and no history of surgery of the patella were included in a prospective study organized by the French Society of Arthroscopy performed between June 2010 and August 2012. All patients underwent axial and sagittal MRI. The AEI was obtained by projecting predefined patellar and trochlear landmarks (cartilaginous landmarks) on 2 different axial MRI views (one trochlear and one patellar). The results were compared with a series of controls (n=45).
The preoperative AEI of the patella was 0.94±0.09 for the control group and 0.84±0.16 for OPI group (P=0.000016). The AEI could be obtained in 100% of the cases if it was measured on 2 MRI views while it could not be measured in 38.5% of the cases if the measurement was only obtained from one MRI view or whenever the widest part of the patella was not across from the femoral trochlea. The AEI did not significantly depend on dysplasia or the presence of a supratrochlear spur. The lowest AIE values were associated with trochlear dysplasia with a supratrochlear spur (P=0.0023) and a more prominent trochlea (P=0.0016). The AEI was correlated with patellar tilt (P<0.000001) and TT-TG on MRI (P<0.000001).
AEI is a new index to measure LPD. It can be obtained in all cases because it is obtained from two different MRI views. The normal value is close to 1. It can be used to measure patellar instability on the axial plane in patients with OPI, especially in the most severe cases.
Level of evidence
III, prospective case control study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Knee, MRI, Patellar instability, Lateral patellar displacement